OLN Acquires Rights to ‘Survivor’

Jun 1, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Outdoor Life Network announced Wednesday that it has acquired the rights to rerun the first 10 seasons of “Survivor.” The Comcast-owned cable network also has an option for seasons 11 and 12 after they appear on CBS.

Financial terms were not disclosed. OLN plans to launch “Survivor” July 24, after the conclusion of its coverage of the Tour de France, its highest-rated programming. After that, the network plans to strip “Survivor” Monday through Thursday at 7 p.m., rerunning each day’s episode at 10 p.m. At first the network plans to televise the seasons and episodes in their original order. Later it will run “theme weeks,” such as “biggest villains” and “greatest twists.”

The use of outtakes and the production of original content to package into OLN’s programming are still being discussed. “We think this is a terrific show for OLN,” said OLN President Gavin Harvey, “possibly transformative for our network.”

A multimillion-dollar promotion campaign will back the launch, he said. “Survivor” producer Mark Burnett said he expects the OLN broadcasts to help increase viewership of upcoming seasons of the show on CBS.

Mr. Burnett downplayed the notion that reality shows won’t draw viewers in syndication. “There’s no question this stuff will rerun,” he said.

He said fans know the plot of episodes of “Friends,” yet watch reruns anyway. “Crappy programming is worthless. The crown jewels will sell over and over,” Mr. Burnett said.